CRIME WATCH

The Baltimore Sun

Cases in Baltimore Exile program on the rise

The number of defendants charged through the Baltimore Exile program is on the rise this year, according to statistics released yesterday by the U.S. attorney's office. During the first eight months of this year, federal prosecutors have charged 147 violent repeat offenders in 77 indictments, through the partnership between city and federal officials. About half of those cases were referred to federal prosecutors from state prosecutors. Federal prosecutors charged 197 people in 151 indictments during 2007. Federal sentences are usually harsher than state ones. The federal system also doesn't release inmates on parole or probation.

Melissa Harris

Shooting investigated as a hate crime

Baltimore police detectives are investigating the shooting early Monday of a city man on North Howard Street as a hate crime, said a police spokeswoman. No arrest had been made. "We are investigating the shooting as a hate crime because of the victim's lifestyle," said Officer Nicole Monroe, the spokeswoman, said. She did not elaborate or identify the 50-year-old victim. About 1 a.m., the victim and a male friend were walking in the 600 block of N. Howard St. when a man riding a bike engaged the victim in conversation, police said. The shooting occurred during the conversation, police said.

Richard Irwin and Justin Fenton

Laurel man gets 3 years for money laundering

A Laurel man has been sentenced to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiring to launder drug money, according to the Maryland U.S attorney's office. Mohammad Ahsan, 40, operated Pak Exchange Services, a money-remitter business in Washington. From November 2004 to March 2007, a cooperating witness acting under government direction gave Ahsan and his associates $520,000 to transfer money to Pakistan, England, Spain, the Netherlands and Canada via an informal network known as a hawala. Ahsan was informed that the money came from drug operations.

A Baltimore Sun reporter

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